Navy Office of Community Outreach
CANADIAN ARCTIC - A 2009 Neodesha High School graduate and native of Neodesha participated in Operation Nanook-Tuugaalik 2020, a multinational maritime exercise conducted in the Canadian Arctic, Aug. 4-24.
Petty Officer 1st Class Dane Pace is serving aboard USS Thomas Hudner, a guided-missile destroyer, that is taking part in the exercise that focuses on multiple warfare areas including maritime interdiction operations, ice diving, air defense, damage control, search and rescue and amphibious operations.
Operation Nanook-Tuugaalik is the Canadian Armed Forces’ signature northern operation composed of a series of comprehensive, joint, interagency, and multinational activities designed to exercise the defense of Canada and security in the region. This includes capability-building operations conducted over the course of a year in Canada’s northern and Arctic regions through training, developing partnerships, and improving the readiness of all participants.
“I think it’s cool being able to participate in this exercise,” Pace said. “I’ve done a lot of independently deploying up until now. The ability to just talk to other navies to see how they do things and learn from them is amazing.”
Approximately 350 sailors assigned to USS Thomas Hudner will participate alongside U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian, French, and Danish allies to enhance their Arctic capabilities, and meet the requirements outlined in each nation’s respective defense policies.
Held annually since 2007, Operation Nanook-Tuugaalik has consisted of one or two major activities during August and September. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, it will be a shorter deployment than in previous years, with no planned port visits or community relations activities.
According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.
The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.
“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
Pace is a quartermaster responsible for navigating warships, planning and preparing routes and sending messages with other ships using signal flags and Morse code.
“I love knowing where we are going before everyone else,” Pace said. “I also have one of the few jobs where I get to enjoy outside weather without having to work in it. This affords me the ability to enjoy sunsets every night.”
As a member of the US Navy, Pace, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“Serving in the Navy means to going to new places, meeting new people and extending an olive branch,” Pace added. “I’ve grown so much as a person just through interacting with new people from new places.”